Yes, Dining Room Rugs Can Be Practical If You Follow These Rules

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I've been feeling lethargic about my dining room lately. It's somewhat tucked away from our open kitchen and living room, and it's just so plain. In an effort to buy timeless pieces, we bought a black table and always dress it (when it does get dressed) with our white plates. I realize it could use a little color, but didn't know quite how to do it until I stumbled across the idea of dining room rugs.

At first thought, keeping a rug in the room where you eat may seem impractical. We have beautiful and sturdy hardwoods in our dining space that are easy to clean when crumbs are brushed off the table or wine is spilt. But rugs don't have to be an impractical choice if you choose the right one for the room.

Here are some rules for finding the ideal area rug for your dining room:

1. Get something a little plush. A low-pile rug in the dining room will soften the sound of clinking plates and glassware, making dinner conversation a little easier.

2. Go for a rug with lots of pattern. Spills will happen, even to the most careful people. A solid white rug is just begging for a sip of red wine. But a rug with a dark or colorful pattern will help camouflage stubborn stains.

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3. Try carpet tiles instead. An area rug made up of carpet tiles is not only versatile, but also easy to clean — or even replace. Anytime there's a spill that won't come up, you won't need to buy a new rug, just a new tile or two. It's a good idea to buy extras from the start, but if you go for a mismatched tile look (like Sharon of Cupcakes and Cutlery did with these rainbow FLOR tiles in her family's dining room) nobody will notice a new pattern.

4. Try an indoor/outdoor rug. It likely won't help soften sound much, but an indestructible area rug made for a deck or patio will be able to weather a mess (and the occasional rinse with a hose).

5. The rug should be big enough to set all the chair legs on it. Not only is this a better look for anchoring the room, a spacious rug protects the floor underneath from scuffs and scratches.

6. Go cheap. At the end of the day, you just can't get too attached to a rug that lives below where you eat. This is one area where it's best not to splurge. When inexpensive rugs look this good, there's not reason not to.

(Image credits: FLOR; AB Chao; Cupcakes & Cutlery)

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